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what bruce means to me Hello, my name is Raine, and here is a short story of how Bruce Springsteen changed my life. It was through Bruce Springsteen that I found Bob Dylan and then Neil Young after all, so I have a world to thank him for, a world of changes.

Twas a soft infested summer that me and Brucie became friends: I was trying to feel my soul again, through a journey of learning, magic times.

When I was 14, I got tired of things all of a sudden: I started to yearn for a new life. Being so young, that felt ridiculously unreal, but at the same time, incredibly real. A strange feeling that left me aloof and alone, searching for the time to fulfil something so unreal and real within me. It took me some time down the line, but that glorious summer when I hit 15, I discovered a musician called Bruce Springsteen, and even now I can feel my energy turn inside out at the thought of all the changes that happened in that one summer.

There were new worlds with Bruce - where words found new meanings; feelings started to have a sound to them. I could hear my emotions in a song. It felt beautifully unreal. He gave me a new canvas, where I could write a thousand words from my mind, and not feel afraid.

With Bruce, I suddenly felt like laughing for no reason on the street, like picking a rock from the pavement and rolling it into soft, lush green grass, then jumping into the sky and swallowing cotton clouds between my lips. He burst with an energy I had never felt before - his passionate, rolling and rhyming and reeling words, his craving, growling voice, that silky guitar - he made me realise that I was young, but not young at heart - that somewhere along the line a lot of young kids lose their youth, fall into a bleak spell of loneliness. He reminded to have fun (I think too much) - that it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive.

With Bruce, I could sail along the streets all the way home, I could feel the sunshine touch my soul when it seeped through the heaviest, grayest clouds; I could even enjoy my journey to school and back, looking forward to that delicious moment when I could hear Bruce all over again. It would be my secret world with Bruce - up in my room with the blinds peeled all the way open, letting every inch of sunshine touch the floors, his rambling, poetic, epic words tumbling like stars sparkling up the sky; everything would be alive around me, everything would become newly special, everything would feel sensational. At nighttime, clouds will cuddle the moon, Bruce and I would serenade the moon. Those times still stay in my head, pictures of them. Everything he said felt so right and true - he always put it down with such wit and honesty, it could make you feel free.

And it was that runaway life, that epic, lonely runaway life of the American Dream that shot right into my soul, that left me, to this day, in Bruce's spell. I would live a secret lifetime with Bruce of endless dreams and runaways and serenading the moon at night, of living my life through a 5 minute wonder of Thunder Road that would rip my heart open everytime I would hear it, because I could feel that feeling, that exact feeling, that I felt Bruce was feeling.

When I got to Bruce's later records - especially Tunnel of Love and The Ghost of Tom Joad - I could feel a new maturity in Bruce that made me go back to his earlier records and listen to them again, see the different windows in all of them. In Bruce you can find a friend who knows what that feeling feels like - that passion, that craving to be alive. You can rediscover a new world everytime!

Our own walking American Dream, Bruce Springsteen can shine and scream and pour words right into your soul, making you yearn for that runaway dream of New Jersey, cry the curtains of the Edge of Town; melt into the tunnels of Nebraska, burn the highway to South Carolina with laughing synthesizers tied to your feet, curl into the downing Dust Bowl with the Ghost of Tom Joad, stroll into the smooth Seeger Sessions: in all his honesty, passion and journeys, you will share a secret lifetime with Bruce that will shine in your heart forever. If I could recommend you to Bruce, I would - but if you find your own journey to him, you'll thank me even more. I love you, Bruce.

Written by Raine